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December/January 2022Vol. 22, No. 11New Factsheet for Professionals Addresses Child Sex Trafficking

A factsheet from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) focuses on the role that child welfare professionals play in prevention, intervention, and service provision with regard to child sex trafficking. Children and youth involved with child welfare have a higher risk of being victims of sex trafficking, and one in six of the children reported missing to NCMEC were likely victims of sex trafficking. It is important that child welfare professionals be properly equipped to handle working with these children in a trauma-informed way.

This resource introduces federal requirements, indicators, and special considerations to make when dealing with sex trafficking. Indicators are important because children who have been sex trafficked do not always self-identify as such or disclose their abuse for many reasons, such as fear, shame, or loyalty. These indicators include behaviors, references, language to watch out for, and others. It is up to the professionals, not the child, to identify when a child is being victimized and step in to help them.  

NCMEC offers assistance for child welfare professionals through its Child Sex Trafficking Recovery Services Team. The team provides knowledge and guidance in trauma-informed responses and helps state and local organizations develop and implement trauma-informed and victim-centered plans. This specialized support can help agencies and organizations better serve survivors and ensure their rights as victims of crime are honored.

To learn more, read the factsheet, Child Sex Trafficking in America: A Guide for Child Welfare Professionals.